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Lemon Pound Cake

(recipe, Caprial Pence & Melissa Carey)


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Introduction

Delicious by itself, this simple cake is also a good vehicle for other ingredients, such as fresh fruit or berries and whipped cream. To transform it into something truly extravagant, cover a slice with warm sautéed apples and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, top with another slice, and then drizzle with warm caramel sauce.

Ingredients

    Cake
    1. ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2. 1½ cups sugar
    3. Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
    4. 3 eggs
    5. Juice of 1 lemon
    6. ¾ cup sour cream
    7. 2¼ cups flour
    8. 1 tsp. baking powder
    9. ¼ tsp. baking soda
    10. ½ tsp. salt
    Glaze
    1. 1 cup powdered sugar
    2. 3 Tbsp. lemon juice

    Steps

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a Bundt pan and set it aside.
    2. Place the butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and sour cream, and mix well. (The batter may look separated at this point, but the dry ingredients will fix that.)
    3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix until creamy.
    4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the cake slowly springs back when pressed gently in the center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely.
    5. Mix together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Pour it over the cooled cake and let sit until the glaze hardens, about 10 minutes.

    Note

    Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake This cake is pretty intense, but don't let that keep you from embellishing it! Make a sundae by topping a slice or two with chocolate or vanilla ice cream and then pouring warm cherry compote over the top. Soak 1/2 cup dried sour cherries in 1/2 cup almond liqueur for about 30 minutes. Coarsely chop the cherries, reserving the liqueur; set aside. Follow the Lemon Pound Cake master recipe, omitting the lemon zest and juice. After the sour cream is incorporated, add the reserved cherries and liqueur and mix well. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the flour mixture, combine it with the butter mixture, then add 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate and mix well. Proceed as directed in the master recipe, omitting the glaze. Fresh Berry and Lemon Pound Cake The next time you prepare a brunch, consider this variation as a yummy substitute for coffee cake. If you don't have fresh berries, thawed frozen ones will do in a pinch, but they must be drained really well, otherwise the cake will be soggy. Follow the Lemon Pound Cake master recipe, folding 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or peeled, diced peaches into the batter. Bake as directed in the master recipe, topping with the glaze.